Nanomaterials2014, 4(3), 548-582; doi:10.3390/nano4030548 - published online 8 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The rapid development of nanotechnologies is raising safety concerns because of the potential effects of engineered nanomaterials on human health, particularly at the respiratory level. Since the last decades, many in vivo studies have been interested in the pulmonary effects of different classes of nanomaterials. It has been shown that some of them can induce toxic effects, essentially depending on their physico-chemical characteristics, but other studies did not identify such effects. Inflammation and oxidative stress are currently the two main mechanisms described to explain the observed toxicity. However, the exact underlying mechanism(s) still remain(s) unknown and autophagy could represent an interesting candidate. Autophagy is a physiological process in which cytoplasmic components are digested via a lysosomal pathway. It has been shown that autophagy is involved in the pathogenesis and the progression of human diseases, and is able to modulate the oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory responses. A growing amount of literature suggests that a link between nanomaterial toxicity and autophagy impairment could exist. In this review, we will first summarize what is known about the respiratory effects of nanomaterials and we will then discuss the possible involvement of autophagy in this toxicity. This review should help understand why autophagy impairment could be taken as a promising candidate to fully understand nanomaterials toxicity.
Nanomaterials2014, 4(3), 535-547; doi:10.3390/nano4030535 - published online 27 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cu is an essential trace element but can be highly toxic to aquatic organisms at elevated concentrations. Greater use of CuO engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) may lead to increased concentrations of CuO ENPs in aquatic environments causing potential ecological injury. We examined the toxicity of CuO ENPs to marine mussels and the influence of mussels on the fate and transport of CuO ENPs. We exposed marine mussels to 1, 2, or 3 mg L−1 CuO ENPs for four weeks, and measured clearance rate, rejection, excretion and accumulation of Cu, and mussel shell growth. Mussel clearance rate was 48% less, and growth was 68% less, in mussels exposed to 3 mg L−1 than in control animals. Previous studies show 100% mortality at 1 mg Cu L−1, suggesting that CuO ENPs are much less toxic than ionic Cu, probably due to the slow dissolution rate of the ENPs. Mussels rejected and excreted CuO ENPs in biodeposits containing as much as 110 mg Cu g−1, suggesting the potential for magnification in sediments. Mussels exposed to 3 mg L−1 CuO ENPs accumulated 79.14 ± 12.46 µg Cu g−1 dry weight, which was 60 times more Cu than in control animals. Our results suggest that mussels have the potential to influence the fate and transport of CuO ENPs and potentially cause magnification of CuO ENPs in mussel bed communities, creating a significant source of Cu to marine benthos.
Nanomaterials2014, 4(2), 522-534; doi:10.3390/nano4020522 - published online 24 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A major issue of X-ray radiation therapy is that normal cells can be damaged, limiting the amount of X-rays that can be safely delivered to a tumor. This paper describes a new method based on graphene oxide (GO) to protect normal cells from oxidative damage by removing free radicals generated by X-ray radiation using grapheme oxide (GO). A variety of techniques such as cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, oxidative assay, apoptosis, γ-H2AX expression, and micro-nucleus assay have been used to assess the protective effect of GO in cultured fibroblast cells. It is found that although GO at higher concentration (100 and 500 µg/mL) can cause cell death and DNA damage, it can effectively remove oxygen free radicals at a lower concentration of 10 µg/mL. The level of DNA damage and cell death is reduced by 48%, and 39%, respectively. Thus, low concentration GO can be used as an effective radio-protective agent in occupational and therapeutic settings.
Nanomaterials2014, 4(2), 508-521; doi:10.3390/nano4020508 - published online 23 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Use of nanomaterials in manufactured consumer products is a rapidly expanding industry and potential toxicities are just beginning to be explored. Combustion-generated multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) or nanoparticles are ubiquitous in non-manufacturing environments and detectable in vapors from diesel fuel, methane, propane, and natural gas. In experimental animal models, carbon nanotubes have been shown to induce granulomas or other inflammatory changes. Evidence suggesting potential involvement of carbon nanomaterials in human granulomatous disease, has been gathered from analyses of dusts generated in the World Trade Center disaster combined with epidemiological data showing a subsequent increase in granulomatous disease of first responders. In this review we will discuss evidence for similarities in the pathophysiology of carbon nanotube-induced pulmonary disease in experimental animals with that of the human granulomatous disease, sarcoidosis.
Nanomaterials2014, 4(2), 505-507; doi:10.3390/nano4020505 - published online 23 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This Special Issue of Nanomaterials is dedicated to the development of new magnetic nanomaterials and their applications in biomedicine, catalysis, spintronics and other areas. The publications in this Issue demonstrate that the interest in magnetic nanomaterials is continuously growing and their realm is expanding rapidly. Some highlights of the publications in this issue are discussed below. [...]
Nanomaterials2014, 4(2), 485-504; doi:10.3390/nano4020485 - published online 16 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Medical interventions for the treatment of spinal disc degeneration include total disc replacement and fusion devices. There are, however, concerns regarding the generation of wear particles by these devices, the majority of which are in the nanometre sized range with the potential to cause adverse biological effects in the surrounding tissues. The aims of this study were to develop an organ culture model of the porcine dura mater and to investigate the biological effects of CoCr nanoparticles in this model. A range of histological techniques were used to analyse the structure of the tissue in the organ culture. The biological effects of the CoCr wear particles and the subsequent structural changes were assessed using tissue viability assays, cytokine assays, histology, immunohistochemistry, and TEM imaging. The physiological structure of the dura mater remained unchanged during the seven days of in vitro culture. There was no significant loss of cell viability. After exposure of the organ culture to CoCr nanoparticles, there was significant loosening of the epithelial layer, as well as the underlying collagen matrix. TEM imaging confirmed these structural alterations. These structural alterations were attributed to the production of MMP-1, -3, -9, -13, and TIMP-1. ELISA analysis revealed that there was significant release of cytokines including IL-8, IL-6, TNF-α, ECP and also the matrix protein, tenascin-C. This study suggested that CoCr nanoparticles did not cause cytotoxicity in the dura mater but they caused significant alterations to its structural integrity that could lead to significant secondary effects due to nanoparticle penetration, such as inflammation to the local neural tissue.